I sat at the ophthalmologists center today, eyes burning with the sting of the eye drops. Tears flowed through my eyes, wetting my cheeks. I dabbed my eyes with the soft cotton balls that the assistant handed me. I figured, it was pretty natural to sit and cry at an Ophthalmologist. If only she knew, that the tears were not because of the drops in my eyes, but because of the memories in my mind. Somehow, the burning liquid had passed right through from my eyes into my brain, making it go into flash back mode.
Twenty years ago, my situation was pretty much the same, at least physically. A major eye surgery cured me of a critical eye defect, but left me at the mercy of ophthalmologists for the coming few months. I was still in my teens; full of fun, high spirits (not in the literal sense), and a strong passion for life. Above all, I had the best companion, with me, by my side. A companion who fought, laughed, cried, and even slept with me. Our bond went deeper than friendship; it was connected with blood. My sister, Heeral, elder to me by just 11.5 months was my closest ally. Both of us together, were lost in our own small world full of jokes, crazy art work, mango trees and unbridled laughter. We had little connection with the outer world; no qualms about the past and no fancy dreams about the future. We were just happy being together in our world.
As I recovered from the surgery, she ferried me to and fro to the hospital, on her blue color luna. As I was administered the eye drops and blinded for a couple of hours, she would sit by me and narrate the stories unfolding at the hospital. We could talk endlessly about anything. I think we never complained about how it took to get out turn or how crowded the hospital was. The more time it took, the more stories we had to share.
Twenty years on, she is happily settled in California. We probably speak to each other once in 4 months. We met each other four years later, last month in Delhi. We hugged, we talked, we laughed, we parted ways and we haven’t spoken again since. The time or the distance doesn’t matter between the both of us. Sitting so many thousands of miles away, I can still feel her close in my mind. As I closed my eyes at the Ophthalmologist today, I sometimes laughed thinking about her and sometimes cried at not having her close beside me. For those sitting around me, there was an excellent justifications for the tears rolling down, but how would I explain the laughter. Maybe, I could blame the eye drops that had effected my mind or the cricket match on the TV screen. Anyways, who cares what anyone thought, as long as I got to relive those beautiful memories in my mind, one more time.